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Rock ‘n’ Droll The generally thankless existence of a bar band isn’t easily endured without a sense of humor. Northern Virginia’s Dirty Campaign reveals how it’s survived the day-job/weeknight-gig grind on its self-titled debut: Though the CD is occasionally bogged down by jazz chops and presumably sincere observations about social ills, it’s far more entertaining when the band flaunts its taste-free wit. Beavis and Butt-head would surely rank the Campaigners’ politically-incorrect-and-proud anthem, “(I Got a) Big Blonde Heavy Metal Bitch From Hell (in Leather),” as cool, while “Heavy Metal Song” contains high- minded prose like, “The chicks I know have lots and lots and lots and lots of hair.”
Percussionist Josh Rhoads is pretty sure there isn’t much of a future for a group whose set list attempts to pay homage to influences “from John Coltrane to Kiss.” Nevertheless, he plans to hustle the CD to major labels. “We have that pie-in- the-sky dream that all bands have, but we’re realistic,” he says. “At least now, with the recording, we can say we took a shot at getting that “ultimate gig.’ ”
And what would be that ultimate gig? “That would mean being able to record albums of our own songs on islands that we own in a studio that’s in the shape of the starship Enterprise.” To buy Dirty Campaign, send $12.50 to Down Boy Records, P.O. Box 801, Merrifield, VA 22116- 0801, or pick it up at the band’s next show, Oct. 23 at Fat Tuesday’s.
Adgie-lation Country musicianshaven’t exploited independent record labels as have artists in other genres, but as Music City moves closer to the center of the musical universe, the indie route is becoming more attractive to artists hoping to make it in Nashville. Ellicott City’s Adgie Lou Davidson is doing just that, and her debut, Waltz With Me Darlin’, is so impressive that she may well succeed. Davidson names Emmylou Harris and Mary-Chapin Carpenter as influences, and although former Carpenter backers Peter Bonta and Rico Petruccelli produced Waltz, the all-original collection is more Emmylou than Mary-Chapin. Two of the stronger cuts, “Holdin’ On” and the title track, are, like Harris’ best work, unadorned and wonderfully melodic.
Davidson, a 33-year-old Montgomery Blair grad who’s been performing since age 11, unsuccessfully visited Nashville two years ago. “I took a demo tape with me,” she says. “And although everybody was favorable about my voice, only some people…were favorable about my songs. So I realized that if I was ever going to get anywhere with the people in Nashville, I’d have to be able to show them that I had a following and that I was serious about what I was doing. I needed an album.”
You’d think that Davidson’s ready-for-TNN name would attract at least some notice. “Oh, that’s my born name,” she says. “I’m a junior; my mom’s an Adgie, too.” Waltz can be purchased ($10 tape, $15 CD) at Davidson’s Nov. 13 show at Fatty’s, and is also available at Tower Records and the House of Musical Traditions.